Today started much the same as the previous one, a brief meeting with the house captains set everyone up and off we went to finish the roof. Before I went up top, I took a walk through the house. The sheetrock crew had come in either late last night or early this morning and hung the walls and ceiling. Literally overnight the interior of the house had taken shape. It's looking great.
A short walk around the sites this morning showed that everyone was making steady progress on the homes. Almost all of the homes were laying roof decking and shingles or at least done with the walls and started on the trusses.
After lunch we headed back to find that Mark had decided we were enough ahead for the day and reassigned the roof crew (and our more-precious-than-jewels nailguns) to help another house that had gotten a later start. So with one roof under our belt we set out to start on another. Honestly, it's a bit like finishing a race just to realize that you have to run back to where you started. But it had to be done and we made quick work of half the roof and helped House #5 get caught up with the rest of the block.
During my morning rounds I stopped by Tim's rehab project at Miss Rosie's house. The crew there has an ambitious outlook and is replacing most of the windows, gutting the kitchen, adding new plumbing and cabinets and painting the exterior of the entire house. And oh yeah, in their spare time, they are also re-roofing the porch.
Let me also add that the city is hard at work tearing down shotgun and other substandard houses all over the neighborhood. I can't decide if the lack of the old houses or the addition of the new houses is more uplifting for the city, but as a partnership they are really changing the face of the back corner of Allendale... for the better.
As I walked down Clay Street, one of the sites was strangely quiet. I didn't hear the hum of air compressors, nor the distinct whack of a nailgun. Just a constant almost singular thump-thump-thump echoed from the top of the roof.
Let me just say, if you have never watched an Amish man swing a hammer, you are missing out. Glen tells me these guys, I think about ten of them, got a ride down from Indiana because "they heard we needed some help." It's a good thing for House #1 that they did. They are so efficient, so quiet, so dedicated to their work. It's really a blessing just to stand there and watch them for a minute. Imagine what else we could learn from them.